About Debt & Society

Debt is at the center of  today’s economies. Debt can fuel consumption and investment to stimulate economic growth. But debt also has pitfalls.  Excessive leveraging of debt contributed to the collapse of mortgage-backed security markets in 2008 and the onset of the Great Recession. Since then, households, students, nation-states, local governments, colleges, and others have struggled under the weight of unsustainable debts.

The excessive leveraging of debt has occurred together with a process that scholars call “financialization.” Financialization is both the growth in the relative size of the financial sector as well as the growing importance of financial markets, strategies and activities throughout the rest of the economy. Debt and Society features research and discussion of the causes, consequences, and meanings of financialization and uses of debt. We hope that Debt and Society can be a meeting place for scholars, policy makers, reporters, and any members of the public who want to join this discussion.

Contributors to Debt & Society

Charlie Eaton

Charlie Eaton is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Merced. His research examines the role of organizations in the interplay between economic elites and disadvantaged social groups. His primary current research project investigates relationships between financialization and growing inequalities in U.S. higher education. You can follow him on Twitter @eatoncharlie

Jacob Habinek

Jacob Habinek is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies. His research focuses on the evolution of organizations and professions in sectors including natural science, medicine, and finance.

Tamera Lee Stover

Tamera Lee Stover is Senior Research Manager at Ipsos. She holds a PhD in Sociology from UC Berkeley.

Leighton Akio Woodhouse

Leighton Akio Woodhouse is a journalist, documentary filmmaker, and graphic designer. His work has appeared in The Intercept, Gawker, The New Republic, VICE News, Newsweek, Fusion, The Nation, Salon, and The Awl. He directed the Emmy-nominated feature documentary Trumpland for Fusion Media and has a Master’s Degree in Sociology from UC Berkeley.

Daniela García Santibáñez Godoy

Daniela García Santibáñez Godoy is the Head of Internationalization of e-Residency in the Government of Estonia. She is additionally an expert advisor to the Director General of the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) on the influence of technology in human mobility. She is a regular contributor to Forbes and the World Economic Forum and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Economics from UC Berkeley.

Cyrus Dioun

Cyrus Dioun is a doctoral researcher at the UC Berkeley Department of Sociology. He has a M.A. in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences from Columbia University. His dissertation uses computational techniques and “big data” to map the emergence and transformation of markets.

Adam Goldstein

Adam Goldstein is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University. His current research focuses on the economic sociology of financial capitalism in the contemporary United States.

Mukul Kumar

Mukul Kumar is a doctoral researcher in City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. He holds an M.Phil from the University of Cambridge and his research interests are in political economy and public finance.

Jeremy Thompson

Jeremy Thompson is a researcher with a master’s degree in urban planning and policy, with a concentration in economic development, from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research interests are urban economic development and public finance.

Armando Aparicio

Armando Aparicio an American/Salvadoran filmmaker currently based out of Los Angeles. His documentary work can be seen on The Intercept, The Nation, Fusion, and KQED.r.